When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Devoted wife will give kidney to husband
A SOUTH Lakeland woman has beaten odds of a million-to-one to be told she can donate a kidney to save her husband’s life.
Devoted wife Nina Woodburn said she was ‘over the moon’ when she found out she was a match for her 42-year-old husband Darren.
“I just want to save his life, I want him back to what he was like when I married him," she said.
The 33-year-old said she was not scared of the operation – she just wanted to get her 'fit and healthy husband’ back.
It has been a two-year struggle for the couple, who have had to undergo a series of tests to triple check that they would be a safe match.
Nina, of Thornfield Place, Grange-over-Sands, said it had been 'really hard' to watch her husband's health deteriorate during that time.
"It's wonderful news. Darren doesn't want me to do it because he doesn't want me to go through what he has. but I just want to him back," she said This will be Mr Wood-burn's second transplant – which means that finding a compatible match was unlikely.
His first transplant lasted for around 20 years, but now his health is deteriorating rapidly, with a loss of energy and a daily restriction on what he can eat and drink.
While waiting for the transplant, Mr Woodburn has to undergo gruelling dialysis sessions which take a full day once a week.
"I'm one of the lucky ones, there are people who have been going into clinics for years with no light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "Nina is the light at the end of my tunnel."
Before the weekly treatment, his mood and energy levels make it a struggle to even get out of bed, but dialysis gives him a temporary boost.
Now the couple are appealing for more people to join the organ donor register (ODR) in a bid to help the 6,500 people desperately waiting for a new kidney in the North West – where last year only 19 transplants were completed.
"I feel so lucky that I can do this for my husband," said Nina. "If I had 100 kidneys I would give each of them away. If people saw what living with the illness was like then I think everyone would join the register."
Darren, whose kidneys first failed when he was 20, is allowed just 900ml a day to drink and so gets very dehydrated.
He has also developed a renal bone disorder which has meant he has had to have a hip replacement.
The couple now hope it will be as early as May or June that they are called to the Royal Manchester Infirmary for the surgery.
Once the operation is finished, Darren and Nina said they were really looking forward to a trip abroad, a luxury they have not been able to enjoy for years.
Darren also said he was excited about eating a bowl of cereal with lots of milk.
"It's the simple things you really miss," he said. "It's like putting your life on hold."
Fiona Biggins, live donor co-ordinator at the Royal Preston Hospital, said in the last 12 months there had been a 'plateau ' of people coming forward to join either the ODR or live transplant scheme in the North West.
"But we still do need a lot more people," said Mrs Biggins. "Even if people are not compatible with a person they want to help with there are other ways of donating."
Donors and recipients can be matched up with people all around the country.
To sign up to the register online go to www.organ-donation.nhs.uk/ukt/RegistrationForm.do Or to discuss the topic further, call Mrs Biggins on 017720524353.